Thursday, May 4

Outiboy weighs in

Outiboy left this comment in response to the dialogue inspired by my last post. I felt that it deserved to be quoted in full in a post of its own because it captures that blend of intelligence, humor, and sensitivity that makes Outiboy so damn special. Here it is with an occasional comment from me:

I can only second everything Dean has posited (and posted) on this issue; primarily because I feel comfortable saying that perhaps a good deal of the fabric of his well-stated position was crafted over several months, as a team effort with me.

[This is indeed true.]

What I wish to underscore emphatically is Dean’s last point to L, which is to carefully discern between parents’ discomfort with any gay-related issue and love between parent(s) and a gay child. I would also like to view the “discomfort” and “love” issues together with the premise of “meaningful dialogue toward common ground.”

Consider: we have a parent or parents that are uncomfortable with some aspect of their gay child’s life as a gay person, and/or the general concepts surrounding their child’s existence on the planet as a gay individual. The child in turn has some discomfort about their parent’s or parents’ discomfort. Discomfort all around. But, at the same time, there is the profession of love all around.

So, what does that profession of love really mean? Well, if it provides a foundation for putting respective discomforts aside enough so as to genuinely open doors to substantive dialogue toward finding common ground, mega kudos to that. Indeed, that sounds like love, or at very least mutual respect (arguably, a key component of love).

But what if there are profuse professions of love from parent(s) to child, but the buck stops there? That is to say, what if the word “love” is tossed around ubiquitously and with great emotion and fanfare, but yet no one wants to speak substantively about underlying issues of discomfort? What if real dialogue is off limits as “too uncomfortable” for the parent(s), or worse, deemed by them to be “unnecessary”?

What if, coupled with this, not only is there no movement to find common ground via dialogue and little if any willingness to do so on the parents’ part, but moreover an insistence by the parents that they can continue to support institutions, fully and unabashedly and without accountability, that clearly and undeniably undermine or, worse, intend harm in some fashion to GLBT people (e.g., the Catholic church, the president and his administration, much of the Republican agenda in general, etc.)—while at the same time claiming unwavering love for their child?

Is it not reasonable, at this point, for the child to be a bit confused? Is it that unseemly for the child to dare question what, then, love means? What if the meaning of what constitutes the purported “love” is questioned, and the reply from the parent(s) is merely a hearty insistence on the truthfulness of the naked word itself, and nothing more?

OK, so I know I am a wingnut generally, but objectively speaking, I think this is a very confusing situation for the child—and, unfortunately, not uncommon. Humans have an uncanny capacity for unreconciled realities, and an even greater uncanny capacity to doggedly refuse to explore unreconciled states. “I love you, my dear GLBT child, but President Bush is the best president we’ve ever had, Scalia is an Italian-American hero, and, by the way, did you go to Mass this week?”

So, to sum up—I understand Dean’s statement when he intimates that perhaps it takes more courage than the average person can muster to question what parental or familial “love” really means. We instinctively want such love, from the day we’re born we’re programmed to crave it, and throughout our lives we often go to incredible efforts to maintain whatever we think we have of it. And, as a result, as long as many of us hear at least the naked word from a parent or parent, we are satisfied, and that is generally enough.

So, Mary got her word. Would that I were so easily satisfied.

[Bravo, Outiboy.]

6 Comments:

Anonymous L said...

Outiboy, your comments are insightful and brilliant, as is typically the case. For me (and putting politics aside), it isn't possible to conclude, one way or the other, to what extent Mary Cheney has explored meaningful dialogue with her parents on this issue.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...

to understand that, one would need to read her book.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Beautifully written, but it still boils down to Cheney is fucked up LOL.

12:10 AM  
Blogger The Persian said...

I would have to agree with Brad in any case, the man is definitely fucked up.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

Likely my last post here. Good luck to you in life man!

(The reasons behind posted tomorrow)

4:04 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

Disregard my last. I am feeling much better today.

2:03 PM  

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